Could Chris Christie Appoint Himself To The U.S. Senate? Yes, He CanBut Chris Christie doesn't need a new job. He's going to have new job soon: running for president. Any doubts about that should have been dispelled earlier this week when this happened:
Thought exercise: What if the indictment of Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez ... could once again potentially place an appointment of a U.S. senator in the hands of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie?
To trigger this scenario, Menendez, who was indicted Wednesday on corruption charges, would first have to step down or be convicted. Menendez has given no indication he's going anywhere. Then again, stranger things have happened.
Consider why Christie might want to think about appointing himself IF a Senate seat were to be vacated:
1. He's term-limited as governor. He can't run again after serving two consecutive terms; and
2. His presidential hopes seem bleak at the moment....
Gov. Chris Christie has granted a pardon to Shaneen Allen, the Pennsylvania mother and gun owner who was arrested in October 2013 for carrying a concealed weapon into New Jersey.(I went to Free Republic to find out what the reaction to this. They don't like Christie much over there, so the predominant opinion, though favorable, was "WHAT TOOK SO LONG?" That's what I've been thinking as well -- I lurk at FR and other righty sites, and Shaneen Allen's case has been a cause celebre on the right since it first made the news. If Christie had pardoned her immediately -- and angrily -- he might not have spent the last half-year with 2016 primary poll numbers as terrible as they've been. Wingers love gun martyrs.)
Allen, a single mother of two, was stopped by a New Jersey state trooper in Hamilton Township near Atlantic City for performing an unsafe lane change. During the stop, Allen had informed the officer that she was a resident of Pennsylvania and that her home state had issued her a permit to carry a concealed handgun, which she had with her in her car that day.
But New Jersey's strict gun laws require weapons to be stored unloaded and locked in the trunk, and so Allen was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and spent 40 days in jail before making bail....
Why would Christie want to appoint himself to fill Menendez's seat? So he'll be forced into a lot of awkward votes? I don't think so. Besides, he has a much better option if he wants to reestablish cred with his party's wingnut voter base.
All he has to do is appoint Steve Lonegan to replace Menendez.
Lonegan used to be the New Jersey state director of Americans for Prosperity. He's a perpetual (unsuccessful) candidate for public office -- he lost the 2013 special Senate election to Cory Booker, and lost a House election in 2014 -- but he has famous friends: Sarah Palin endorsed his Senate bid, as did the Tea Party Express and radio talker Mark Levin (Levin is nearly as much of a superstar on the right as Rush Limbaugh these days). Lonegan still doesn't seem wingnutty enough? Last August, Right Wing Watch told us about Lonegan's latest gig:
The Star-Ledger reported earlier this week that Steve Lonegan, the unsuccessful Republican candidate for Senate in last year’s New Jersey special election, has a new job: leading the anti-gay, anti-choice American Principles Project’s sideline effort to bring back the gold standard....That's a lot of crazy -- so it sounds perfect for a Republican presidential aspirant who's seen as too moderate.Hey, governor, name Lonegan and your stock really might rise in Iowa and South Carolina.
The American Principles Project was started in 2009 by Robert George, the intellectual leader of the anti-gay movement, to pressure Republican politicians to embrace both fiscal and social conservative policies. APP currently employs Maggie Gallagher, who founded the National Organization for Marriage along with George and served as NOM’s first president.
In his new job, it seems that Lonegan will unite the main political interests of APP’s chairman Sean Fieler, a little-known hedge fund manager who has become a major donor to the Religious Right and to social conservative causes in New York and New Jersey....